MICROSOFT HAS completed work on its specialised edition of Windows 10 for Chinese government use.
After years of battling with Microsoft over the privacy issues in Windows 10 (like, it had a few left) the new edition, based on Windows 10 Enterprise, has been tweaked to make it much more fun for the officials of a country that locks down everything and spies on the rest.
"The China Government Edition will use these manageability features to remove features that are not needed by Chinese government employees like OneDrive, to manage telemetry and updates, and to enable the government to use its own encryption algorithms within its computer systems," burbles Terry "read my blog" Myerson.
What this actually means, reading between the lines, is ALL the back doors. ALL of them.
The Myerson platitude machine rolls on: "It is an honor and privilege today to be in China—the center place of some of the world's most life-changing inventions like paper, the abacus, and the world's first movable type printing press. These inventions have empowered each of us to be more creative and productive."
It's all a change from a few years ago when we saw China begin a process of what it called "Dewindowsifying" (not sure what the Chinese for that would be) with a custom version of Linux. It's not clear what will become of that project, known as ‘NeoKylin' now that some niceties (cough… cash?… cough…) have obviously passed between sides.
State media even went so far as to denounce Windows 8 in the main lunchtime news (come on, we've all thought it) claiming it is a data mining tool and that "Whoever controls the operating system can control all the data on the computers using it."
Windows 10 has been roundly criticised for privacy in any case, most recently for completely ignoring user's Group Policy settings.
The announcement of the Government Edition came alongside the new Surface Pro, which will be the first product to roll out locally with the new preborked system.
Initial customers will be the Shanghai City customs department and state-owned Westone Information Technology that according to a Google search, does IT things. Oh yes. µ
Or it could be... you know... they just sold out
Liberties and EDRi created a landslide support letter
Choose your headshot carefully
Firm also claims its fingerprint tech outperforms Apple's Face ID